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Fletcher Njororai, YouTube: HIV-Related Stigma and Aging in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Health Interventions

HIV-Related Stigma and Aging in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Health Interventions
by Dr. Fletcher Njororai, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Public Health, University of Tennessee

uploaded by  on Oct 31, 2011

chers—

a bit odd for a YouTube format, but significant information

—rk

HIV-related stigma remains the single most important barrier to effective response towards HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. Stigmatization leads to discrimination; isolation; stress, depression, acts as a barrier to HIV status disclosure; hinders people from seeking HIV testing, impedes seeking treatment and support in dealing with the disease and hinders accessing prevention, care and treatment services for the infected and affected. This is particularly intense in Sub-Saharan Africa where a combination of shared ignorance, myths, communication gaps and misinformation, fear, and denial are entangled in weak health-care systems with poor legal and ethical frameworks.

The elderly may suffer from HIV-related secondary stigma as caregivers to people living with HIV/AIDS and orphaned grand children, or primary stigma as people infected with the disease. Women are the ones who mostly assume the role of care-giving with little or no resources available to them. Older people remain invisible in most national and international HIV/AIDS programs and policies on presumption that they do not participate in social and national life, and have ceased sexual activity. Eliminating HIV-related stigma through age- and peer- specific health education programs designed within culturally appropriate theoretical frameworks and policies will contribute to better quality of life for older people in Sub-Saharan Africa. (By: Dr. Fletcher Njororai: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Public Health, University of Tennessee)

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